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Steve Keim: Kingsbury Phenomenal, 'We Don't Want To Lose Kliff'

GM says it's important to keep backup Colt McCoy in future

Steve Keim said he was not surprised Kliff Kingsbury's name came up as a potential candidate for the vacant Oklahoma University job,

"To me, it's a compliment to our organization," Keim said during his appearance on the "Burns and Gambo" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station.

"It really goes to validate the the things Michael (Bidwill) and I saw in him when we made that hire, and he's obviously earned it," Keim added. "The guy has done a tremendous job. He and our organization have grown together. We're really excited about the future when you look at the work he's put in, the improvements he's made, the improvements we've made with the roster."

Keim echoed Kingsbury's thoughts that the team is focused on the season -- the Bears this weekend -- and that they aren't necessarily working on a contract extension.

"Any time you hear someone attached to a job, especially in today's day and age, when sometimes the rumors are correct and sometimes they're not, obviously we don't want to lose Kliff. He's done a phenomenal job and Michael and I are his biggest fans. He's got a great job here, as Kyler Murray mentioned, and I think the future is bright."

-- Keim also said there are a "lot of tough decisions" going into the offseason. A ton of key players will have their contracts expire in the offseason, but Keim didn't sound like there would be a lot of in-season extensions, for multiple reasons.

"If we identify the guys we see as core players, and there are a lot of them with the success we've had, but it really is tough," Keim said, noting that agents are involved and players are focused on the season ongoing. "A lot of times, guys want to test the market or it's just not the appropriate time because they are so focused on football.

"There are so many moving parts to it, but there are a lot of guys we want to re-sign and make sure they remain Cardinals."

-- Colt McCoy was one name brought up in particular. Keim said he wants to keep McCoy -- It's "highly important" -- but because of rules and McCoy's accrued seasons, he can't be re-signed until after the season ends.

-- Keim echoed the Kingsbury point that Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins will be game-day decisions. He said he wasn't as optimistic about guard Justin Pugh playing.

GM Steve Keim before a game in 2021